RUSTON, LA. (UPDATE: 11/02/2020)– Gina Jones said she has been working on her campaign for the last three years. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, she has had to slow down to keep her daughter healthy.
“She has multiple disabilities, is non-verbal and is at very high risk of death from COVID, so I’ve had to be extremely careful,” Jones said.
Jones said that hasn’t stopped her completely. She said she believes she has the life experience needed to do the job right.
“Having grown up relatively poor, the representation of poor people matters to me a lot and I recognize the value of good public defenders in our legal system,” Jones said.
If elected, she said she will make sure there is justice for all.
“Young people tend to make mistakes and one thing that I would want to institute for first offenders, if they’re non-DWI or non-violent offenses, is pre trial diversion,” Jones said.
She said that she will also see that restitution is paid to victims of theft.
“And I will ensure that the money paid, even if it’s through pre-trial diversion, goes first to the business owners to make them whole,” Jones said.
Jones practices family and criminal law, and has been a public defender for 26 years. During her legal career, Jones said her diverse experience in the criminal justice system is what’s motivating her to run for city judge.
“You know using the same formula for 21 years is not necessarily working in today’s environment,” Jones said. “It’s time for a change, a new perspective.”
RUSTON, LA. (KTVE/KARD)– The candidates for the Ruston City Judge are Incumbent Danny Tatum and Gina Jones.
Tatum has been sitting judge for the City of Ruston for the last two decades.
“I’m from Lincoln Parish. I grew up here. I have a passion about serving the people,” Tatum said.
Judge Tatum said he believes he has led a fair and impartial court that cares for the people of Lincoln Parish.
“As a judicial race, I think people want to know ‘am I a man of integrity, good character, can they assure that I will be fair, courteous’,” Tatum said. “I think that we have tried to be to the best of our ability and if we get re-elected, we will continue to be that same type of impartial, fair, justice that everybody feels welcome to come in.”
Judge Tatum said he has both the experience and the drive needed to do the job effectively.
“I’m still passionate about serving,” Tatum said. “I’m not ready to go home yet and I hope they give me the opportunity to continue to serve the people of this parish.”
He added, campaigning this time around has been very different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The first time I had to run, things were done a lot differently,” Tatum said. “Now there’s social media and other avenues to get out the word and touch the people, so we are trying to do the best that we can in a tough environment.”
We reached out to both candidates, but Jones was not available.
Don’t forget to swing by the polls and vote for your favorite candidates next Tuesday, Nov. 3
Early voting in Lousiana is over, however, folks in Arkansas have until Monday Nov. 2, to cast their ballots early.